Category Archives: salvation

That’s a Good Funeral

Proverbs 17:27

He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.

One might think (and often correctly) that me and the phrase “sparing words” would never be in the same sentence. It is however a family trait.  While I have no problem speaking what’s on my mind, there are times (sometimes days upon days) that I’d rather say nothing to anyone. The ringing of a telephone causes my stomach to go nauseous and even messages on social media overwhelm me. I like silence. Because I know that in those times is when I am most likely to hear God speak. And then there are other times, if I’m honest, that I am drawn to the noise of the earth around me because I know in the silence I’ll hear God speak, and that scares me too. It’s crazy, I know! But it’s me being real.

Yesterday I attended the funeral of a sweet cousin who’s epitaph verse was Proverbs 17:27. He was a very well educated man with much to say, but seldom said it. His daughter said it best when she said “if he spoke you should listen, because his words were weighted.” What an awesome testimony he had.

As I sat there and watched his children work through their grief in front of an audience and do it so God glorifying; it did what a funeral should do, it caused me to reflect on my own life and the cause and effect of silence. Silence can be good, or silence can be bad, there must be balance as in everything in life. Even Cheesecake. I know that’s random… but it’s true.

The Racket

Three times in Psalm 46 the Psalmist says that “God is our refuge.” Refuge being a safe haven, sanctuary or shelter. As a child of God I understand that. I have run into that place to escape the sorrows of the day so very many times. I’m in that place right now. I needed this word this morning to send me to the feet of Jesus to speak to Him about the many burdens in my life. They accumulate so quickly. Too much, too often and I’m consumed by it.  They’re a racket in my mind. God understands. That’s why He spoke this Psalm into David. Not only for him, but for us.

Psalm 46

1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.

Those roaring waters and trembling mountains that feel as though they’re going to bury us in defeat are exactly what runs us into the refuge. If it were not for that trouble, we’d think we didn’t need help. We’d be sure that it was us who could get us through the issues of the day. God doesn’t make the trouble, but He’ll get His glory in the midst of it!  I witnessed that yesterday.

My cousin’s death was not a death of God’s timing. But God knew the heart of the man and used the occasion of his memorial to quiet the noise in my life and probably many others. Death has a way of putting life in check.

  • This is important. √
  • This is not. √

The River

There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.

I sing a song titled “Tell Me One More Time About Jesus” and in that song there is a line that speaks of the Pastor’s words being like a “cool drink of water.” The Psalmist’s words are such. So were the words of the memorial, because they all point to Jesus. Jesus is that river, that makes glad the city of God! When a child of God comes home, whether timely or not, you better believe there is rejoicing in Heaven! Should there not be on earth.

I told my cousin Duke last night when he called to see how the funeral went, that “I love a good funeral!” We laughed, but he knew what I meant. Because we both know Jesus. And there is joy in knowing that a loved one’s struggle is over and they are sitting beside of Victory! Glorraaaaaay! That puts a shout in my soul.

The Refuge from the Rage

The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah. Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations he hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire. 10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. 11 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

You can better believe that Satan was not a happy camper at Gassaway Baptist Church yesterday. He expected worlds to fall apart when he moved “his kingdom.” But this world is not our home, and this world was not what my cousin’s children had their eyes on.  They were standing in the refuge of the God of Jacob. The same God and Savior who gave Jacob a new name when he wrestled with God in Genesis 32.

Every battle of a child of God ends in Victory, even if it doesn’t always appear that way.

My cousin was described as a man of few words, yet he was a writer, a thinker, a ponderer… and he and I had many times talked about our ponderings of God. He left his testimony with us through his children when his daughter said, “Our dad was a humble man who wouldn’t want you to focus on his education, successes and the many things he did that no one knew. He would want us to tell you of the day he made Jesus his Savior.”

That’s a good funeral.

A Much Needed Christmas Sign

This morning as I tried to get my heart in shape for Christmas… which isn’t always easy… I kept hearing the song “Jesus is the Rock of my salvation and His banner over me is love, Jesus is the Rock of my salvation and His banner over me is love, Jesus is the Rock of my Salvation and His banner over me is love… His banner… over me… is love. If you know that tune, it is likely stuck in your head too! You’re welcome! But that’s okay, we need to remember that what ties the cradle to the cross is a love that has been there since the creation of time.

I’m not sure if the scripture came first or the song this morning but none the less it’s been a good study.

And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and His rest shall be glorious. ~Isaiah 11:10

From that one scripture, so many others began to run through my mind like the banner song.

He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner (ensign) over me is love. ~ Song of Solomon 2:4

Here’s your sign…

and mine too. While the world is so focused on the physical things of life that bring temporal joy (which I can be so guilty of) the very evidence of our salvation which is the love of God, often takes a back seat. It’s why there can be so much stress around the holidays. Our focus is not on the main thing. The reason Christ came was to prove His love for us. And somehow or another the focus seems to get off Him and on to us.

Here’s your star…

I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root of the offspring of David (root of David), and the bright and morning star. ~ Revelation 22:16

Long before the star was in the heavens proclaiming the birth of our Savior, the Bright and Morning Star had His place in the Heavens. He knew there needed to be a plan to saved fallen man, and as the lineage of Adam to Christ, with David in the midst became filled with countless characters of less than perfect reputations, the plan stayed perfect. Amazing.

Here’s Your Savior…

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. ~ Isaiah 7:14

Emmanuel. God with us. Is He? Or has He been shoved to the side like the wrapping paper that was only important when it concealed the goodness. Then once the goodness of the gift was discovered the paper wasn’t important.

Do we not treat the Word of God, “God with us”, in that same manner? Once we’ve discovered His salvation we no longer find the paper important. And while the wrapping paper certainly isn’t the important part of Christmas, The Word of God, which is how He delivered our salvation to us is important for our relationship to continue. Without it, He is no longer central focus.

Here’s What You Seek…

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (His rest) ~ Matthew 11:28

I don’t know what you need this morning, but I needed to hear words of encouragement from God that would draw my mind back into the central focus of the season. Jesus. I needed that banner waving before me, draped between the two trees; one signifying life, the other death. Together they symbolize the gift of eternal life and peace through Jesus Christ. The latter of which I cast to the side in exchange for the chaos and mayhem of the season. Praise God I can’t lose eternal life or I’d misplace that in all the wrapping too!

Please like and share www.theJesusChick.com

The Final Authority

Why I did it, I don’t know. I knew it would end badly; but the show’s title intrigued me. “The Good Place.” This is not a recommendation! The premise of the show is, that a woman dies and is in error sent to the good place. Which happens not to be heaven. Because, in the words of actor Ted Danson who plays “Michael” the architect of the good place, “Buddhists had it a little right, Muslim’s had it a little right, as well as Christians and all other religions, but all were wrong.” There was not one way. It was by the weighing of good and bad deeds in life that were determinate of your destination. The bad place was however called eternal damnation. Interesting I thought, since most of Hollywood doesn’t believe in Hell at all.

But anyway… back to my blog and my scripture for the day which proved that “The Good Place” had somethings right, and everything wrong.

I know… that’s confusing right? Well one thing that is not confusing is the word of God. It’s ironclad clear on eternity.

Ezekiel, an Old Testament Prophet is called up into Heaven either in body or in spirit, it’s unclear. But God allows him to see some things that we are not privy to. One thing is the throne room of God. But He’s also privy to a conversation between God, 6 men and a Writer clothed in white linen, believed to be Jesus. It does not say His name, but it does speak of an authority that only One would have. The Pen of the Writer Who determines who goes to Heaven.

Ezekiel 9:2-6

And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer’s inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brasen altar.

And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer’s inkhorn by his side;

And the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.

And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity:

Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.

Old Testament History is a bit gory for my taste. I have a weak stomach and a tender heart. But although I find it a hard pill to swallow, I’ve studied enough bible to understand why it had to be so. And contrary to Ted Danson’s theory, Christianity wasn’t wrong. Even in the Old Testament we find the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He was and is and always will be.

The Writer

The Prophet wears the writer’s inkhorn. The Lamb’s book, the great things of the law and the gospel which God has written to us, for it is  the Spirit of Christ in the writers of the scripture. Christ is the Lamb and the only One with the power to write the names of those in the Lamb’s book.

So when I read in Ezekiel 9:4 that the Lord said to him go and spare those who sigh and cry for all the abominations, sins that were done before Christ died on the cross; I know Who it is that would have that power. The One who will come in the future as prophesied and who died for sins past and future. Christ is exonerating those who had shown mercy and kept true to the law of the day. Those who had compassion for God’s people and His ways. He is the writer as well as …

The Righter

The problem with Hollywood, is they want to justify sin to which there is no justification.

That’s why I felt it particularly odd that they used the words “eternal damnation” for the bad place on the show. The world doesn’t believe there will be a judgement day of any kind.

So the show had it a little right in the fact that there is a good place and a bad place. Even the main character of the show was upset because she wanted an “in between” place to which there was not one. Nor is their one in the Bible. It’s Heaven or Hell. Nothing in between.

A little right is still all wrong. Without Christ in the equation and an understanding of the price He paid for us as the reason behind His authority, the world is destined for Hell. But those of us who know and believe that Christ died, and paid the price for those sins of the past, present and future, know that He has made right all our wrongs by His blood. And therefore He alone can write our names in the Lambs book of Life. Glory!

The Wrong

When I read that God told the six to go through the city and kill, not sparing even children, my heart sinks.  

I don’t profess to have complete understanding of why God did it as He did. But I do understand that children left to be brought up in wickedness would fall to a far greater damnation than those who were saved from Hell by an early demise. 

I also understand that those who are wicked and anti-Christian do far more damage than we are aware of. Even a show like “The Good Place” which is meant for entertainment has an undertone of Satan that serves to convince the unsaved there are other ways to Heaven.

But there is a Final Authority. His Name is Jesus, and every Hollyweird soul and child on the planet will meet Him face to face and answer as to whether or not they accepted His payment for their sin as the final authority of their eternity.

I pray you know Jesus. And if you do not, or have questions, please comment or find me on Facebook!

Heaven Help Us

In the book of Nahum we once again find Israel having been carried captives into Assyria. A common storyline in the lives of God’s people. Sin, become captive, repent, obtain freedom, repeat.  But before we cast any stones we, generally speaking, don’t have to look long into our own lives to find that we too are repeat offenders of captivity.  The world has a way of laying hold on us and doesn’t relinquish us to freedom easily. Our enemies are fierce, but our Father is the fiercest of all!

When a verse like Nahum 1:7-8 comes into my reading time, I take note, and need to delve further into the God of all comfort. He comforts me like the favorite blanket that I wrap up in on a cool fall morning.

Nahum 1:7-8

The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him. But with an overrunning flood he will make an utter end of the place thereof, and darkness shall pursue his enemies.

Heaven helps those who do

Jesus told the young ruler in Luke 18:19 Why callest thou me good? None is good, save one, that is, God.

A very quick and honest search of our own hearts and we realize that we are not good. Sin abounds inside the heart of every man and is only covered by the blood of Jesus when we ask Christ to save us. But it is forever a constant battle creating trouble in our lives. Either our sin or the sin of someone else. So what a joy and privilege and highlight worthy verse we find in the book of Nahum; because even though we’re not good, God is! And He’s a stronghold for those that know Him. A stronghold is a place of security and safety. For King David being sought by Saul, it was cave. For me this morning it’s a blanket on the couch that I’m wrapped up in studying God word. I love this time of the day when the busyness and stress of the day hasn’t quite kicked in and my heart is still tender and receptive to God’s guidance

It’s good seed sown in a dirty ground that grows beautiful things.

Come what may for the rest of the day (an our lives) we have to trust that God is good and He takes care of His own.

Heaven Help those who don’t!

Nahum described it as an “overrunning flood” for the enemies of God. And although most people who have not claimed Christ as their Savior, don’t view themselves as the enemies of God, they are. They are because they’ve allowed the world to rule their hearts and the world is the enemy of God.

James 4:4 says as much when James wrote: Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

That “should” strike fear in the heart of anyone who hasn’t been saved, but it doesn’t. They are blinded by this world into believing that there is another way out besides salvation. And the heartaches and troubles they face every day, that overwhelms their souls and very much feels like an overrunning flood could be traded for the strong hand of God that would remove it and replace it with His peace for the asking. But many will not.

And sadly many who know God and He knows them, live in defeat because they don’t take the time to get in His word where peace is found.

I’m ever so grateful that in all my errors and blunders in life, God’s grace is sufficient to pull me through the tough days and allow me to celebrate the good days with gladness! I pray you’re experiencing that peace today and that you’ll share it with someone along the pathway.

If you’d like to know more about sceduling the Jesus Chick to speak or sing, contact me at 304-377-6036 or find me on social media under “the Jesus Chick.”

Is Your House On Fire?

My husband David has been a fire fighter for many years. He’s been Chief of his department for several years and he and I share a commonality in passions. He puts out fires on earth, and I do my best to put out the fires of Hell by showing people the way to Jesus Christ. But the reality of it is, I’ll never put out the fires of Hell. It’s a very real location that was created for Satan and his band of angels who rebelled against God. Isaiah 14:12-15 says this about Satan, also known as Lucifer:

12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

Lucifer held a position of authority in God’s realm. But pride caused him to desire the position of God. And because of that, he fell, and Satan/Lucifer’s desire is to keep as many people as he can out of Heaven.

If you think about Satan’s goal you are aware that it is played out here on earth again and again in the hearts of men who want to be in control. And if we’re honest with ourselves, we too want to be in control of our world, even if it’s just our own lives. That was my desire until 1996 when I gave my heart and life to Jesus Christ by accepting His gift of salvation. It was then that God took control, and I no longer feared death and hell. I had the very real promise and peace of Heaven!

From a child of about the age of 9, I had a fear of Hell. I knew in my heart that it was real, but I was clueless on how to avoid it because the gospel was never clearly presented to me. I pray that I can present it to you in a way that you’ll understand, and if not, please message me so I can help you. But this is the gospel of salvation in its basic form:

You and I are the creations of God. A one and only design that He desires a relationship with; Just like the one that He had with His first creation, Adam and Eve. But Satan deceived them, and the sinless man and woman became sinners. It was then that the Holy God could no longer have that relationship, because He could not be in the presence of sin. There had to be an atonement (a price paid) to cover it. And so a temporary sacrifice was made of the lamb, but it was only temporary.

For a permanent sacrifice to be made, it had to be a perfect sacrifice, which would not be found in any earthly animal. So God’s only Son, Jesus Christ, became the perfect sacrifice. It seems unimaginable for us in our earthly minded ways that someone would be willing to die for us. But on the cross 2000+ years ago, Christ died for everyone who would accept that He was God, that He died on the cross and that He, in His God power, rose again three days later and returned to Heaven where He is now the intercessor of those who accept this as truth.

God now has a relationship with those who do, and He places His Holy Spirit within their heart so they’ll know! And believe me when I tell you, that’s exciting!

When that happened to me in 1996, the fear of the fires of Hell immediately disappeared. I had and have the most amazing peace in my heart. Now, the world occasionally tries to take that peace away, but I have a Savior who gives it back when I give my burdens to Him. Even the burden of open heart surgery. God’s Holy Spirit speaks to me through my heart and through the word of God inspiring me to live my life for Him and share His love with others.

Prior to salvation, so many times I went through serious heart ache and trouble and I would turn to the Bible for help, without understanding of anything I read. But as soon as I became a Christian, by accepting Christ as Savior, the scripture (through the Holy Spirit) was opened up to me like never before and I understood the word of God like it was a love letter written just for me. That’s Salvation!

Would you like to put out the fires of Hell in your world? There’s only one way.

Admit you’re a sinner who needs saving.

Romans 3:23 says this: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”

Knowing we are a sinner is the first step. Every one of us have sinned… and just like Adam and Eve, even one sin keeps us from the presence of a Holy God. Just like a child who has to be punished for doing wrong, there is a penalty for sin. But praise God! The penalty has been paid.

Romans 6:23 gives us the problem and the solution: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Jesus paid that price for our sin. It’s covered by His blood. And every time God looks at one of His children, He sees the red blood of His Son that makes us white as snow. How wonderful is that?!

Romans 10:9-10 sums up the way of salvation:

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Just as God spoke this world into existence, you need to speak your new life into existence by openly confessing (which means to agree) that you believe the every word of God, and that the Jesus died to cover your sins, that He rose again the third day and He is now in Heaven, waiting for you. Until then He’ll be covering every one of your sins with His blood. You are forgiven. You can live in the perfect peace that He promises.

If you believe that, pray this prayer:

Dear God, I believe that You gave Your only Son as the sacrifice to cover my sins. I believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose again the third day. I believe that He is in Heaven and that I too will be with You one day. Until then, I trust that You will continue to cover all my sins, past present and future and I’m trusting You to guide my life and keep me in Your will. Thank You Lord, for saving my Soul! Amen!

If you prayed that prayer, please let me rejoice with you by messaging me or finding me on Facebook. And please! Find a church that preaches the truth of the Word of God and makes you feel like you just found home. The world is too harsh to go it alone.

Longsuffering Has an Expiration Date

When I heard the title of this writing in a recent sermon of my Pastor, it was one of those times that the words rolled over and over again in my mind like the never ending credits to a movie. Only the words attested to the fact that there is an ending. Date unknown. Time unknown. Maybe before you get to the end of this sentence. But as certain as the air we breathe there is an expiration date on God’s longsuffering.

Peter 3:9-14

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,

12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

I’m a fanatic over expiration dates on food products, unlike my Mother. We’re pretty sure she’s going to poison us eventually. (I’m kidding, kind of)  She was raised in an era of “scarcity” when it came to the necessities of life, while I have been raised in an era of abundance. This is no doubt the foundation of our mindsets when it comes to expiration dates. I fear our reasoning on the expiration date of the Lord’s longsuffering is much the same. Most of us have not experienced a time of suffering that was long. We’ve gone through bouts of it, but nothing in any great length. But imagine the length of time the Lord has suffered with humanity and their unwillingness to concede to His Omnipotence.

Knowing that most people aren’t longsuffering enough to read more than 500 words, I’ll keep this as short as possible. The last verse (14) in my selected scripture gives me three points to ponder on the longsuffering of God and the short-attention span of His creation. Us.

Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

Pre-salvation, I knew that I was sinner. A conscience was placed within me that let me know. The three things I longed for and could not attain are listed in this verse. And I believe that this is the case for most unsaved people, if not all.

I Longed for Peace

John 14:27 speaks the words of Christ Himself Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

My heart was troubled, and it was afraid because I knew that this world nor my life would be forever. That all changed the day I surrendered my life to Christ through the simplicity of a prayer. “Lord! Save me!”

There was no peace found outside of Him.

I Longed to Feel Worthy

The world puts a great deal of value on worth. Friends are chosen on the basis of “being worth our time.” What do they bring into the relationship? Careers are based on the value of our skills; what do we bring to the table? Family, though not chosen, are often rewarded and positioned on the basis of merit. Who is the most successful? This is not the case in every friend, career or family, but it is usually the case in our lives at some point, leaving us with the feeling of never being enough. Spotted, so to speak.

Isn’t it wonderful to know that the Lord doesn’t want you to bring anything to the table? He just wants you! Just as you are, no matter how broken and messed up that is, or even how perfect you may think you are. Once your life is given to Him, you are viewed through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ. He died for you, therefore you are worthy. You are amazing in the eyes of God! You are without spot.

I Longed to Feel it was Not my Fault

Every mistake I ever made in life also rolled as movie credits in my mind, letting me know what a failure I was. Even though I’m saved, it still happens today (the accuser does his job well).

Revelation 12:10 ~ And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44). He loves nothing more than to convince us that we are “Ne’er-do-wells” without hope. But God is the God of Hope! And in Him we are at peace, without spot and without blame. That is truth. And we love that we can believe it!

But another truth is God is coming back for His church. And His church is not comprised with membership roles of a specific denomination. It’s comprised of those who have confessed that they believe the virgin born Jesus died on the cross of Calvary to pay their sin debt; that He arose on the third day and took the keys to death, Hell and the grave that Satan had been yielding about in arrogance. Christ returned to Heaven, where He now is, making intercession with the Lord for every fault we have so that God does not see our failures, He sees His Son.

When He returns, will you be ready and waiting? If yes, that’s awesome!!!! I’ll see you there. But I ask myself and you this question… Who won’t be there because they don’t know this truth? Share this message with them. And let them know you want them ready.

—————————————————————————————————–

This blog is in it’s 8th year. Hosted on godaddy.com for the past five. Expenses incurred for the operation of this site are without complaint and with gratitude for the opportunity. If the Lord would impress you to give to help cover some recent technology issues, I’d be grateful. I’ve not been in the world’s workforce for 3 years and for that I glorify God. It’s given me the opportunity to not only write and work on music, but minister to nursing home patients, volunteer in the Christian School teaching art and help other ministries with marketing. All of which require technology, communication, time and gasoline. Again it’s without complainT… but just in case you have a desire to help, or have “extra money” 🙂 Know that I would be eternally grateful.

Here’s the Link

Even the Easter Bunny Knows

I have no qualms with the Easter Bunny, or Santa Claus or any other fictitious character that has been created to give children happy childhood memories. It did not warp me, nor my children that we were told the Easter Bunny was watching in order to make us behave better, even if it were only for a few days. We gradually and gracefully grew into the wisdom that those characters weren’t real and there was no traumatization. My oldest grandbabies have figured it out too, but continue the charade for their younger siblings, even though any other time they’d love to squash their little dreams.  What baffles me is that the “logical” thinking world has yet to figure out what critters and new creatures in Christ have long since known.

Creation is by the Creator

Of all the things (and there are many) that point me to God as Creator, its critters. My chickens for example. I have plain ol’ ordinary chickens and then I have the “fluffies.” They’re actually called Silkies, and they’re the youngest of our brood. They recently just started laying eggs, and although there are no roosters in the vicinity it still doesn’t stop them from treating their eggs like there’s something other than breakfast inside. I have to fight her off to get the eggs. And she’s not happy about it.

I had been collecting several of their tiny eggs each day, but a few days went by and there were no eggs in the box. It had gotten a little colder and chickens tend to lay fewer eggs during those times, but I really would have thought that out of my four specialty chickens, somebody would have laid an egg. On the third day I went to move their water bin and discovered that everybody’s eggs from the previous three days were hidden behind it. I cracked up! That overprotective hen had pulled a good one on me.

How could that not be intelligent design? How on earth could an explosion create love?  I need to ask no other question for myself to believe in the Creator. Although there are the occasional critters who don’t have the instinct of parenting, (including humans) most understand their responsibility and the exact methods of taking care of their young. Birds know how to nest, and chickens know how to sit and all know how to protect.

Romans 1:20

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Regardless of whether or not someone professes that God is God, and Jesus is Lord, and the Holy Spirit dwells within the saved and convicts the lost, doesn’t change the fact that it’s truth. Creation attests to the Creator.

Long before I knew the truth as the truth, God was working in my heart and mind to understand Who He is and who I was. I recently wrote another song titled “Salvation’s Song” and one of the verses speaks of the how I knew I wasn’t saved, and how I knew when I was. Before I was saved… no peace. After I was saved…. PEACE. Only God can make an internal difference. We are created with sin coursing through us. That explains the world. But when God’s presence comes within through the Holy Spirit, Glory to God there is peace on earth. Not outside… but in.

Yes, even the Easter Bunny knows God. Do you?

There’s a link at the top of this page titled “the Road to Salvation.” If you don’t know or are unsure of your salvation, and that if you died today you don’t know if you’d be in Heaven or Hell. CLICK THE LINK. And let me know so I can pray for you.

__________________________________________________________

Comments and Contributions are always welcome

This blog is in it’s 8th year. Hosted on godaddy.com for the past five. Expenses incurred for the operation of this site are without complaint and with gratitude for the opportunity. If the Lord would impress you to give to help cover some recent technology issues, I’d be grateful. I’ve not been in the world’s workforce for 3 years and for that I glorify God. It’s given me the opportunity to not only write and work on music, but minister to nursing home patients, volunteer in the Christian School teaching art and help other ministries with marketing. All of which require technology, communication, time and gasoline. Again it’s without complain… but just in case you have a desire to help, or have “extra money” 🙂 Know that I would be eternally grateful.

Here’s the Link

 

Why and How I know that I know

I will not tell you that in 21 years of salvation I have not ever doubted my salvation. I would doubt that very many Christians could say that. It’s our nature to doubt. Thomas didn’t have the market cornered on it.

But what I can say, it that the Holy Spirit did not allow me to live in that state very long. A friend posted on Facebook this morning the story of the conversion of John Wesley.  As I was reading through his testimony, and the question his dad posed to him on his death bed “John, do you have the inward witness of the Holy Spirit?” I wanted to shout the glory down! And oh, how I wished that during the 34 years of my unsaved condition, someone had asked me that question. They did not.

And when I finally heard it, I knew I did not. But for a while, pride would not allow me to explore it further with those who had asked the question. I had been brought up in church, I had taught Sunday School. I had lead youth. How could I confess that I did not have an understanding of what seemed to be such basic information in the Christian realm.

NOT SO BASIC ANY MORE

In a 2009 Barna Survey, fifty-eight percent strongly or somewhat agreed with the statement that the Holy Spirit is “a symbol of God’s power or presence but is not a living entity.” More than half of those surveyed! I realize that surveys can be somewhat misleading because of where the survey took place and who exactly was surveyed. But for some reason, I’m not doubting the results. I’ve been in the presence of too many professing Christians that just don’t bear any witness of the Holy Spirit.  They go to church a dry and come out dry. Nothing changes.

When I got saved. I CHANGED. I felt fire in my soul and it hasn’t gone out for 21 years.  So what happened to those who don’t feel it?

NOT SO BOLD ANY MORE

Matthew 24 states it well when says verses 11-12

And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

The testimony of the Christian faith has been so tarnished by false preaching and false professors that even the true believer can see their fire go out if they’re not very careful on who and what they allow their mind to be exposed to.

I was watching the show “The Voice” last night and was so frustrated with the “professed Christian judge” on the show who cursed more than the other three non-professing judges that I was nauseous. I started routing against her. One might wonder why I continued to watch the show… I ask myself the same question. And I’ll be asking myself the same question next week, but it boils down to the fact that I love listening to the singing, and the few Christian testimonies from contestants as well as the singing tips from the judges, I glean what I can from their skills for my own music ministry.

But it’s the mentality that you can live any way you choose and profess Christ that has caused the Holy Spirit not be felt or believed upon by many in the church. Couple that with many churches no longer preaching the blood as necessary for salvation, and you can see the problem with their belief in the Word of God. The blood is on the pages of the bible from Genesis to Revelation.

NOT SO BURDENED ANY MORE

Before I was saved, I had heard just enough about Armageddon to scare me to death and pray for life. I didn’t understand it, but I feared it. I don’t know if I believed in Hell, but I feared it. And when I discovered the truth that there was a Hell, and that a child of God would be saved from it as well as Armageddon, Lord have mercy, I had such peace and gratitude for what the Lord Jesus done for me on the cross. I also became very aware that many of my family and friend would not escape, if they too did not become saved by the blood of Jesus. I was so burdened… I was sure Christ would return the next instant. But over time, when He delays His return, my burdened waned as well. It’s a great lie when you hear… there’s still time.

Perhaps, perhaps not. We need our burden restored and the only way that that is going to happen is to get our relationship with the Lord restored and stoke the fire within us.

NOT SO BROKEN ANY MORE

We need our heart broken the way Christ’s is broken every day by the lack of concern for His children. We need to ask ourselves again and again do we feel and do others see in us the inward and outward witness of the Holy Spirit?

 

 

 

 

The Harlot’s White Christmas

Although Irving Berlin penned the 1942 song “White Christmas” two decades before I was born, it’s still alive and well and topping the charts of Christmas albums across the world 75 years later. That’s an amazing run! Not as amazing as Amazing Grace, but none the less, who wouldn’t want that kind of history for their music? I still prefer those crooning sounds of singers like Bing Crosby that draw you so far into their song you can almost catch a drifting snowflake on your tongue. But as I painted my Silkie Chicken version of “White Christmas” yesterday while feeling in the holiday spirit of 2017, it drew me back to the white Christmas of 1400 B.C.

What? How was there Christmas, before Christ was born? There was actually Christmas in the book of Genesis and throughout the Old and New Testaments, but this morning my Christmas story came from the book of Joshua, with the key character being a Harlot named Rahab. Needless to say, this ain’t your 1940’s Bing Crosby version of the story.

We find this version in Joshua (Chapter 2), when Joshua sent out two men to go and spy on the land of Jericho. The two men went into a harlot’s house named Rahab to lodge because it was a “hotel” of the day, and likely because it probably wasn’t uncommon for many men to travel in and out of that house unsuspected, but Rahab knew who they were and that God’s hand was upon the children of Israel. Rahab wasn’t a brainless woman of ill repute, she was a woman quite aware of the political and biblical events of the day. Harlotry may have been her business, but her family was the affair she was most concerned about.

Hidden by the Harlot

Joshua 2:1-6 ~ And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. And they went, and came into an harlot’s house, named Rahab, and lodged there. And it was told the king of Jericho, saying, Behold, there came men in hither to night of the children of Israel to search out the country. And the king of Jericho sent unto Rahab, saying, Bring forth the men that are come to thee, which are entered into thine house: for they be come to search out all the country.  And the woman took the two men, and hid them, and said thus, There came men unto me, but I wist not whence they were: And it came to pass about the time of shutting of the gate, when it was dark, that the men went out: whither the men went I wot not: pursue after them quickly; for ye shall overtake them. But she had brought them up to the roof of the house, and hid them with the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order upon the roof.

It wasn’t just happenstance that the two spies ended up in the home of a harlot. God’s decides from a vantage point higher than ours, who it is that gets a role in the Christmas program. We want the ones of good reputation, the pretty people. God instead chooses a harlot by the name of Rahab because He knew her heart was ready for rehab.

Hallowed by the Harlot

Verses 7-11 ~ And the men pursued after them the way to Jordan unto the fords: and as soon as they which pursued after them were gone out, they shut the gate. And before they were laid down, she came up unto them upon the roof;  And she said unto the men, I know that the Lord hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed. And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the Lord your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.

Rahab reverenced God and His people. She acknowledge that there was power in the God they served and that she and her people had a healthy fear of Him.

It’s unfortunate today that there are many people who don’t fear our God because His people aren’t allowing anyone to see their deliverance. Rahab had seen how God had delivered His people. She’d heard the talk around the neighborhood about the great things God had done and it scared her to death! She knew that her people had nothing that could win against a God so mighty. When is the last time you heard people sharing about the deliverance of God with the community, even though we in the church know it happens. We’ve seen God tear down walls in families and restore relationships, we’ve seen Him wipe out disease and heal our sick, and we’ve seen Him fight and win battles where it would appear all was lost, but God brought the victory. But nobody’s talking about that…

Rahab reverenced God and His people because they were the topic of conversation everywhere!

Heaven Hears the Harlot

Vs. 12-18 ~  Now therefore, I pray you, swear unto me by the Lord, since I have shewed you kindness, that ye will also shew kindness unto my father’s house, and give me a true token: And that ye will save alive my father, and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death.  And the men answered her, Our life for yours, if ye utter not this our business. And it shall be, when the Lord hath given us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with thee. Then she let them down by a cord through the window: for her house was upon the town wall, and she dwelt upon the wall. And she said unto them, Get you to the mountain, lest the pursuers meet you; and hide yourselves there three days, until the pursuers be returned: and afterward may ye go your way. And the men said unto her, We will be blameless of this thine oath which thou hast made us swear. Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by: and thou shalt bring thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy father’s household, home unto thee.

God knew the heart of Rahab before the story ever started. He knew that she was ready to leave the lifestyle she was in and be converted.

So what does all that have to do with a White Christmas?

The red cord that hung from the window of the harlot’s house, that crimson colored rope, signaled her redemption. She and her family would be saved so long as they stayed within the walls covered by the red cord. Another symbolic red covering was that of the children of Israel when the blood over the door signaled the death angel to pass and their family spared the loss of the first born. All of which lead to the final application of the red, covering the sins of the harlot hearts of the world when Christ’s blood was shed on Calvary. That baby we celebrate this Christmas that washed us all as white as snow.

Rahab and all those close to her were saved because of the red cord, and I’m hanging onto that hope that I and all those close to me will be saved when that final day of judgement comes. But like Rahab, I have to be vigilant about opportunities to be used by God.

The Signficant Three

I heard it said and fear its true, in that “We’re raising a generation that doesn’t even know the basics” when it comes to Bible. Twenty years ago at the age of 34 I didn’t know beans about the Bible. Even the acronym B.I.B.L.E – Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth, sent me into note taking frenzy. I’d never heard even something so simple. What a concept! Every preaching service I’d sit on the edge of my seat like I was being spoon fed pure sugar from Heaven, and Hallelujah and I’m still the same. The Word of God has never gotten old because as a young Christian I heard the power of the Spirit, the Water and the Blood.

As a product of what was probably the first generation that took the gospel too lightly, the blood wasn’t something my squeamish stomach liked to hear about. It made me very uneasy to hear about the sacrifice of critters and then to hear about the sacrifice of the Son of God was a horror my mind couldn’t fathom, until, through the preaching of the Word, I began to understand that were it not for that sacrifice I would have busted Hell wide open. And I knew that there had been several times in my 34 years where I was inches away from gate. When I came to that realization the preaching of the blood no longer bothered me, but I’d raise my hand and shout Amen with the rest of those crazy Baptists because the Spirit inside of moved me and bore witness that there was a well of Living Water within me and I was seated in Heaven with the Lord Jesus.

But in the modern age of today the blood is being preached on less and less and is being traded for a lukewarm version that no longer allows people to understand there’s more to getting to Heaven than just showing up to church.

Oh… the work is done. But there’s a head and heart knowledge of 1 John 5:8 that must be understood.

The significant three

Spirit

February 18th, 1996. That was the first time I remember feeling the Spirit in such a way that it made my heart well up inside of me to the point I thought it would explode! It missing in many, many services today, because that Spirit is a part of a threefold message. And without the other two, it’s not a complete message.

Water

At least 60% of the adult human body is made up of water and we can’t survive without it. A child of God won’t survive spiritually without the water of the word either. I was taught as a new Christian that if I wanted to grow in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, I needed to read and study the word of God for myself. It was then that I realized it truly was like water; flowing through my body and encouraging me as the world around me did everything within it’s power to discourage me. A few days without it and I would begin to feel my soul drying up and crying out for a drink from the well called “The Word.”

Blood

Medical minded people could give you far more information than I on the purpose of the blood for living, but I will only tell you of the blood that made all the difference! When God sacrificed the first animals to cover the newly discovered naked bodies of Adam and Eve, I can imagine their gut wrenching horror of that act. The act that they, through sin, had made necessary. It was my same reaction when I realized that through my sin, I had caused the very Lamb of God to be sacrificed on the cross as payment for my sin. I can’t watch movies like “The Passion of Christ,” because the images are just more than my heart can bear. Reading it in the Word and having the Spirit bear witness to me is enough to make me understand the blood was applied to my wicked heart and made it white as snow so that I could have a relationship with God.

I’m grateful for the preaching of the Word and that Saints of God took their role of discipling me serious. I pray I never take the significant three for granted, and that I never fail to take the opportunity to instill in this generation the basics of salvation. That is why the world is in the shape that it’s in. The basics have been forsaken for words that appease the flesh. I know that if my heart had not felt the piercing conviction of sin through the preaching of the Spirit, the Water and the Blood, I’d still be headed to Hell.

If you’ve know that word… thank a preacher!